Company that converts garbage into fuel eyeing Hoffman Estates

A California-based company that creates diesel and jet fuel from the carbon in household garbage otherwise headed to a landfill hopes to build a new processing plant in Hoffman Estates.

Fulcrum BioEnergy presented a preliminary version of its proposal to village board members this week, seeking the use of a 25-acre property on the south side of Higgins Road, about 700 feet west of Beverly Road and south of the Spring Creek Forest Preserve.

Company officials said the $100 million investment would create a 40-foot-tall processing facility about 500 feet from Higgins, where roughly 120 trucks per day would deliver about 3,000 tons of garbage for recycling and conversion into an alternative source of carbon for fuel.

The processed material would leave the site the same day in the form of a dry fluff bound for another facility in Gary, Indiana, for the next stage of its conversion.

Fulcrum BioEnergy officials said the village would receive about $100,000 per year in host benefits. The project would create 150 construction jobs and about 45 permanent jobs, they said.

The building would be made of precast concrete panels and is not expected to be visible from Higgins Road, company representatives said.

The property, like those around it, is currently zoned for agricultural use and would need to be rezoned, in addition to all the other permits the project would require.

No exact time was given before a fully detailed proposal might be filed with the village, but Hoffman Estates' director of planning, building and code enforcement, Peter Gugliotta, said a project like this also would need state approval to move forward.

The site of a 25-acre property near the southwest corner of Higgins and Beverly roads where Fulcrum Bioenergy wants to build a recycling and processing facility to convert approximately 3,000 tons of landfill waste per day into an alternative source of carbon for jet and diesel fuel. Courtesy of village of Hoffman Estates
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